Friday, July 22, 2011

The Inside Scoop on IT Jobs in Toronto

According to Stats Canada, over the month of June 2011, there were 28,000 new jobs created in Canada versus 18,000 new jobs created in the United States. In a recent quarterly survey, the Bank of Canada reported that 57% of Canadian companies surveyed are looking to hire over the next year. These stats are great news for the Canadian workforce, and particularly exciting if you are involved in the IT sector of Silicon Valley North, a.k.a. the tech hub of downtown Toronto.

Tech startups in Toronto experiencing fast growth
As an IT staffing agency in Toronto, we have the pleasure of seeing many startups reaching lift-off status, first-hand. Many of our clients recently ranked on Deloitte's radar, and one company was recently acquired by a prominent game manufacturer:
  • Nexj Systems: placed fourth on Deloitte's 2010 Canadian Technology Fast 50 Ranking. Out of the 50 companies on this list, 11 were from Toronto.

  • Polar Mobile: was awarded Deloitte's 2010 Companies-to-Watch award. Out of the list of 10 companies, 4 were from Toronto.

  • Five Mobile: a mobile development company from Toronto, was recently purchased by Zynga, a social game development company, for an undisclosed amount. They are now known as 'Zynga Toronto.'

Access to refunds and tax credits make Toronto attractive to tech start ups
Part of the reason tech business is booming in Toronto is due to a government initiative called the Scientific Research & Experimental Development (SR&ED) program. SR&ED provides millions of dollars in cash refunds and/or tax credits for small business expenditures on research and development work done in Canada. Companies such as Polar Mobile are happy to take advantage of these credits rather than outsource work to India or China, creating job opportunities for local technology professionals.

Lucrative tech careers at the moment
It's great to see companies investing in local talent, and it's great to see that IT professionals have more options today. Many developers and programmers we've placed are reluctant to take contract positions for less than three months as they know their services are in high demand at the moment, and they're right for thinking this way. It's a profitable time to be in an IT profession.

To give you a range of salaries for hot tech jobs in Toronto at the moment:
  • Mobile App Developers: We're seeing people with J2ME skills, Objective C, and Android developer skills that have been placed at companies for an average salary of 60k+ starting salary as a Jr. Developer, and upwards of 80+ with about 5 years experience. These developer skills are in high demand at the moment.

  • M-commerce or Mobile Commerce: Experience with this as a developer will easily net 70k+. Leading companies in this field include PayPal, Square (started by Twitter Founder, Jack Dorsey), and local Toronto company, EnStream.

  • Object Oriented Programming Skills in Banking or Software (OO): These skills almost guarantee you are going to get a job in Toronto right now. With 5-7 years experience, you could earn an average of 60-75k a year.

  • Banking Skills in Anti-Money Laundering (AML), Business Analyst Derivatives, or Derivatives Programming: This area of IT is experiencing a lot of growth right now. You can net about 80k+ with less than 5 years experience at the moment.

  • Regulation Processes (Sarbanes Oxley & Basel I, II, III): This is another growing market. This is quite an advanced field in Canada at the moment, so if you go into this profession, it's not unusual that you would be asked to travel all over the world.

If you're in college or university at the moment, and you want to make money quickly out of school, one of the jobs mentioned above might be just what you're looking for. Whether you're just entering the workforce as an IT professional, you've built a startup, or you're part of an established company, this is an exciting time to be part of Silicon Valley North.

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Written by:
Tim Collins, President and Owner, Stafflink Solutions


  1. Great stuff from you, man. Ive read your stuff before and youre just too awesome. I love what you’ve got here, love what youre saying and the way you say it. You make it entertaining and you still manage to keep it smart. I cant wait to read more from you. this is really a great blog.
    all the deals

  2. Mark, Thanks for letting me know!